In love she said "you know I don't agree with the way you worship...you are leading your kids astray, take care, Hannah, take care".
I called her to tell her that we bought a house. A nice one. Much nicer and bigger than we ever dreamed we would have. God has been good. Much kinder and more gracious than I deserve or even knew to hope for.
But she stopped short of rejoicing, because she believes I have left "the faith" and when my soul is at stake...what's a new house?!
I wasn't angry. I was sad. And grateful. And full of love. I appreciate her caring for me enough to talk to me about it. Instead of just halting all interactions without explanation.
I know it was motivated by love. I know it hurt her to say. Because I know she loves me.
I took her seriously. I considered her words.
I searched my soul.
I do not believe I am infallible, that I have access to something that other people don't. At some point in the future, we may realize that we got it all wrong. I don't take correction lightly.
I love God. I seek Him. I acknowledge Him. I trust Him. I fear Him.
Not flawlessly. But as much as my spirit, encased by my flesh can do at this point in my spiritual walk, I do.
God says that He will rescue those who love Him. If I seek, I will find. If I trust and acknowledge, He will direct.
So, I look for fruit.
A tree is defined by the fruit it bears. Am I bearing the fruit of the Spirit or of the flesh?
The fruit I bear is not the mouths I feed, the hospitality I show or the other works I do. Those are end products that can, even according to Jesus, be performed regardless of the state of the soul who performs them.
The fruit that defines a person who is filled with the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
Do I see these? Are these apparent in the church community I live in? In me?
I believe they are...growing. I see fruit. And I believe God. I see Him working like never before in my own life and in the lives of others.
As hurtful as it is to know that people I love believe I am going to Hell...my faith is in God.
If I believe Him, I have to believe that He is guiding my steps. And if He is guiding my steps...I am right where I need to be. There is no safer place to be than in the will of God. Regardless of the opinions of man.